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Jacking A Short Car!


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#1 tj80

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 10:58 AM

Hi,

 

I have a nice high-lift trolley jack but have come across a bit of a challenge with the Mini.  Since the car is so short, you don't have to lift it very far before the angle of the car sitting on the jack head becomes quite severe - the head of the jack stays horizontal, but of course the car pivots around the wheels which are on the ground and the point you're jacking (e.g. the subframe) ends up sitting at an angle on one edge of the jack head!  This really doesn't look safe, plus it puts the whole weight of the car on a single point which can't be good.  :(  When lifting a car with a longer wheel base it's much less of an issue because for a given amount of lift at one end the angle of the car is much lower.

 

Any tips on how to lift comfortably high without ending up with the car perched precariously on the corner of the jack?

 

Thanks,
Tim



#2 MiniMadRacer

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 11:07 AM

To be fair, no not really. I tend to Jack the car up as far under the car as possible, so if jacking the Front up, slide the jack in behind the front wheel, under the back of the sub frame, so Jacking as near the front floor pan as possible, but under the subframe not the floor. Then once up to a decent height I place an axle stand, then reposition the jack, and jack it up higher again from another suitable point. I hope that makes some sense



#3 Rorf

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 11:17 AM

The only way to really work under a mini is to jack the whole car up, front first and then the rear and holding it up with four axle stands. 

 

Obviously one does this progressively alternating between the front and rear so as not to have the dangerous angles you are talking about.



#4 nicklouse

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 11:31 AM

I don't see the problem.

 

jack it up and then place stands to support.



#5 sonscar

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 12:48 PM

somewhere on here is dimensions for a support for the front rail of the front subframe so you can use the jack in the middle and raise both sides.Use stands when done and use a similar idea at the rear and use stands.As Rorf said do it alternately to desired height.Check stands are secure.Reverse to lower.Be careful.Steve..



#6 maccers

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 01:43 PM

What are job you trying to tackle?



#7 tj80

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 02:39 PM

Thanks, all.

 

I noticed this when I was rubbing down the rear subframe, first time jacking the Mini.  I did it under the right hand side rear subframe member in front of the rear wheel, which lifted the whole rear up enough to put axle stands in.  Finished the job fine but was wondering if there were any tips for lifting without the entire weight of the car being sat on the edge of the jack head instead of sitting nicely flat on it!  It's the same problem on all cars of course, it's just that since the Mini is so short it's that much worse.

 

Sounds like the best option is to lift in stages, but even then as the car tilts there will be nothing flat left to jack!  Will certainly look into making the wooden support thing!

 

Cheers,
Tim



#8 maccers

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 11:19 AM

I've collected a few jacks over the years, and axle stands. Makes it easier but go steady and in stages and you'll be fine. Last time I had all wheels up was brake bleeding, in my small single garage. I always put the wheels under the car too even though on axle stands (more for storage than anything) Also my dad used to leave the jack in place under the lifting point, again just in case....! 



#9 sonscar

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 01:46 PM

I too was always taught to put the wheels under the car.Steve..



#10 croc7

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 02:02 AM

I jack the rear of the car using a 2 x 4 centered under the rearmost part of the subframe and put jack stands under the subframe just forward of the wheels.  No problem.  The front is a little more problematic.  If its a small job, I jack the subframe where the tie rods connect.  To jack the entire front of the car, I think most people put a board between the sump and jack pad and pump away.  I know, I know, in doing so there's a chance to separate the engine mounts.  Thoughts??



#11 ChrisRuffell

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 07:03 AM

I jack the rear of the car using a 2 x 4 centered under the rearmost part of the subframe and put jack stands under the subframe just forward of the wheels. No problem. The front is a little more problematic. If its a small job, I jack the subframe where the tie rods connect. To jack the entire front of the car, I think most people put a board between the sump and jack pad and pump away. I know, I know, in doing so there's a chance to separate the engine mounts. Thoughts??


The sump method is vey controversial with this forum. Although almost every old school mechanic I’ve spoken too have said they did this for years in the 60s-90s and never had any issues.
Personally I have done it a few times as it gives a nice even lift so you can put axle stands each side quickly. However my engine mounts are new so perhaps I have a bit more confidence.
Overall I can see why it’s so frowned upon and I do 99% of the time use the subframe to jack the car up

#12 MiniMadRacer

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:44 AM

Jacking where the Tie Rods connect can bend the brackets, and or the tie rods themselves messing up you tracking big time



#13 croc7

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 07:25 PM

 

I jack the rear of the car using a 2 x 4 centered under the rearmost part of the subframe and put jack stands under the subframe just forward of the wheels. No problem. The front is a little more problematic. If its a small job, I jack the subframe where the tie rods connect. To jack the entire front of the car, I think most people put a board between the sump and jack pad and pump away. I know, I know, in doing so there's a chance to separate the engine mounts. Thoughts??


The sump method is vey controversial with this forum. Although almost every old school mechanic I’ve spoken too have said they did this for years in the 60s-90s and never had any issues.
Personally I have done it a few times as it gives a nice even lift so you can put axle stands each side quickly. However my engine mounts are new so perhaps I have a bit more confidence.
Overall I can see why it’s so frowned upon and I do 99% of the time use the subframe to jack the car up

 

OK, if not under the sump, where on the front subframe do you place the trolley jack?  Where the lower arms attach?  Do you then place the jack stands at the forward end of the subfame where the tie rods attach?  I've owned minis off and on since the mid 70's and never liked putting the whole car up on jack stands.  If I need to work under the car, I'll run it up on ramps and jack/stand the rear.     



#14 cal844

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:56 PM

I usually Jack the front where the lower arms attach, putting bricks under the wheels or body with timber to spread the load (if the subframe needs dropped, so supporting the body)

#15 nicklouse

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:07 PM

 

 

I jack the rear of the car using a 2 x 4 centered under the rearmost part of the subframe and put jack stands under the subframe just forward of the wheels. No problem. The front is a little more problematic. If its a small job, I jack the subframe where the tie rods connect. To jack the entire front of the car, I think most people put a board between the sump and jack pad and pump away. I know, I know, in doing so there's a chance to separate the engine mounts. Thoughts??


The sump method is vey controversial with this forum. Although almost every old school mechanic I’ve spoken too have said they did this for years in the 60s-90s and never had any issues.
Personally I have done it a few times as it gives a nice even lift so you can put axle stands each side quickly. However my engine mounts are new so perhaps I have a bit more confidence.
Overall I can see why it’s so frowned upon and I do 99% of the time use the subframe to jack the car up

 

OK, if not under the sump, where on the front subframe do you place the trolley jack?  Where the lower arms attach?  Do you then place the jack stands at the forward end of the subfame where the tie rods attach?  I've owned minis off and on since the mid 70's and never liked putting the whole car up on jack stands.  If I need to work under the car, I'll run it up on ramps and jack/stand the rear.     

 

i have always jacked on the sump with a suitable spreader. best way to check your engine mounts.

 

other jacking points you can use. lower ball joints. jack it up high and you can get both stands under.

 

with the mini dont consider jacking side by side. jack front to rear or vice-versa the suspension is that stiff you dont even need to lift centrally.






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